31 December 2012

2012, You Have Changed Me

...in the most difficult and enlightening ways possible.  Here's to another fabulous year of learning, loving and doing (and jewelry making and blogging and trip-taking and photography and laughing and just enjoying my damn self!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!!

28 December 2012

DIY: Spray Painted Wire Rack

Do you like free stuff?  I do... a lot. My ears perk up automatically as soon as I hear "Does anybody want this desk/chair/candy/shirt/hat/pencil/cookie/dirty wire rack?" And just like that my hand shoots up and a subtle, yet firm "Me!" escapes my lips before my brain even knows what's happening. I figure I'll accept now and decide what to do with it later.

Case in point: Chipped wire rack, covered in garage grime - layers of dusty filth, cobwebs, dead bugs and leaves.

"ME! I want.  It's mine, give it here.  I'll take it, just need to make space in the car. GIVE IT. MINE. Thank you."

DIY Neon Spray Painted Rack by OTL blog

This little rack needed some punch and bright furniture has been all over my Pinterest boards, so it was a pretty obvious and simple idea. I love the outcome, plus it cost under $12.  And now my plants have a pretty place to bloom (AND NOT DIE PLEASE) in my little apt.

How to Spray Paint a Metal Rack
Skill level: Crazy Easy
  1. Acquire said piece and clean thoroughly with soapy water. Dry completely.
  2. If your item is a dark color - anything other than white probably - prime it or fill in any chipped or dark sports with a paint or spray-on primer. This might take 2-3 coats.
  3. Allow primer to set according to instructions. Then, with a color of your choosing, spray paint the hell out of it. (Ideally on a large tarp, away from anything you don't want to get ... colorful.) Painting wire is kind of a drag, as most of the surfaces difficult to see/reach and you will feel like a lot of paint is being wasted  floating off into the air. Keep going, persistence and a strong trigger finger are key. And rotate that thing, make sure you get it from all angles.
  4. Let dry, place some chachskies on it and be done!

How do you guys get down with spray paint?  It's so versatile and the color selection is pretty amazing, right?!

27 November 2012

GOALS : December 2012

I'm a big fan of goal setting.  For me, it's been really help to first decide what I want and then create mini check points to achieving something greater. Success or failure, you learn something along the way, so, why not?  Here begins a monthly feature, entitled GOALS, to be posted near the beginning of the month and revisited at the end.  I got this idea from another of my favorite blogs, Stitch & Hammer.  If you want to share a post of your own monthly goals I would love to take part in encouraging and holding you to them!

1. A DIY on the blog this month.
2. A restful, mini-vacation to my hometown (Chicago), with lots of family, friends, exploring and photos.
3. Old clothes and unused belongings to Goodwill, asap.
4. Get all of my holiday orders out perfectly and on time.
5. Send someone a letter... in the mail!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Image/poster via There is always room for emptiness.

26 November 2012

Holiday Coupon + Thank You!

Self promotion is not my forte, but at least I'm in the game this time around.  OTL is offering 30% off your purchase until tomorrow as a HUGE thank you for your support, well wishes, orders, basically everything.  Use code THANKYOU30 and get a jump start on your holiday shopping with some handmade goodies by me :)

>>> visit the shop! <<<

07 November 2012

Obama 2012

[I made my voice heard in Ohio yesterday and reaped the massive rewards, along with a lot of my other fellow Americans. It was a very very happy Tuesday!]


02 November 2012

Smiling and smiling and smiling some more :)

I practiced yoga with my crew last week and the theme of the class really stuck with me :  It was about showing up... As in, who you are and how you do it.  The idea is to become so grounded in the phenomenal person you are, that despite the daily grind and the annoying-ass challenges you face, the core of your being is UN-fuckable-with.  You remain you, despite all of this... and despite all of that.  It will be hard sometimes, yeah.  It may seem damn near impossible some days.  All the more reason to make it possible.

The energy you choose to bring into a space has the power to immensely affect the people in it.  What great responsibility!  I like it.  I have the power... to make people...inspired?  Happy? Feel good?  Laugh?!?  Game ON!!!  Speeding ticket and dreary-never-ending-rainy-clouded-weather, you will not get me down! I've got a responsibility to smile and shine as much as I can in this lifetime :)

I hope that wherever you are, you have those "someones" in your life that give you the most fulfilling laugh or a face cracking smile or a calming touch - whatever you need to re-spark that grateful fire in your soul.  Think about it... You know what that feels like, right?  It's warm and magical and soso good. Take that feeling and become the light for others when they need it.  Take that feeling and PASS. IT. ON.

Let us be grateful for those who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  -Marcel Proust

And a Happy Friday to you and yours!

31 October 2012

Internet Round Up / 002

[I say: Why not inundate your brain with more pretty/cool/neat/fascinating stuffs from our very own internet.  I got fancy and made it easy for you... Now all you have to do is click on the images to see more!]

awesome design, color theory + branding tips. b+w printable wrapping paper. sweatshirt applique diy. home tour: lizzie + kathryn fortunato be the tiger! shredded brussels sprouts recipe. vista rope necklace. follow @thethriftstorecowboy on instagram. temp. tats by tattly.

01.  Tattly for the best temp tattoos ever.
02.  I'm in love with the #fromelmosback series via thethriftstorecowboy on Instagram.
03.  VISTA makes the most colorful, knotted, rope + hardware jewelry.
04.  I've been obsessed with Brussels sprouts since I was a babe. If cooked right (ie. not too long), they are absolutely DELICIOUS.  They also last longer in the fridge then your average green stuff.  This shredded version is easy, crunchy, healthy and so satisfying.  And it mixes well with anything... bacon + eggs, toasted almond slivers, parmesan + pine nuts, pasta... pretty much whatever your heart desires.
05.  My new favorite quote -- Be the tiger.
06.  A home tour of twins, Kathryn and Lizzie -- Owners, designers and makers of Lizzie Fortunato Jewelry.
07.  A sweet, sweatshirt applique DIY.
08.  Super-cute, *free*, printable wrapping paper.
09.  The Design Guide : A series of awesome design and branding tips.

Other thoughts:  My heart goes out to those affect by #Sandy these past few days and the days/weeks/months ahead.  If you'd like to help out an donate to the rescue and aid those most affected, you can do so here.

Also, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  This was the first year since I was a freshman in college that I didn't dress up or make myself sick with bite-size candy.  Honestly, I don't think I missed much, although I see an extravagant costume come this time, 2013.

29 October 2012

Sundays with Kittles

[Somecat spent a lot of time watching rain drops hit the window and people around the neighborhood scurry about in the god-awful-hello-fall-lets-get-cozy weather.  Our apartment is warm and quiet, so it was a relaxing day for the cat and I.  We shot some new stuff for the shop, listened to music, sauntered around in sweatpants and wool socks, maybe drank a bit too much midday wine, napped and pulled it together for dinner, football and a movie, from the comfort of a big couch.  A perfect, lazy Sunday.]

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

24 October 2012

Want it: Micaela Greg Knitwear

[It's supposed to be a lot getting colder out... eventually.  I think.  So, in order to divert any cold-weather complaints (sadly, for which I am known) I'll be using the impending chill as an excuse to stock pile some handmade, layering pieces to my otherwise barren, fall wardrobe.  The Micaela Greg A/W 2012 Collection has just the right amount of geometric patterning and neutral knits to empty my already-almost-empty) wallet quite quickly.

Sisters Marie and Karen Protesta and have an extensive/life-long background in fashion and design and use their know-how to create 'visually bold knitwear, both with an artful quality and boyishly cool aesthetic.'  I'm loving every little bit!  See the rest of the collection here.]

via Blog Milk.

09 October 2012

Collection 007 / black + white + gold

[A collection of class, simplicity and contrast, inspired by that fine-looking specimen of a black cat wearing a gold collar.]

1 / classy cat  2 / golden bangles, top: another feather, mid: forever21 and bottom: on the lookout 
3 / sneakers to die for, adidas  4 / some big bling for your man  5 / Biggie lyrics are always relevant  
10 / b&w decor + cat print  11 / the always fab, Janelle Monae 

1 / classy cat  2 / golden bangles, top: another feather, mid: forever21 and bottom: on the lookout 
3 / sneakers to die for, adidas  4 / some big bling for your man  5 / Biggie lyrics are always relevant  
10 / b&w decor + cat print  11 / the always fab, Janelle Monae 

See past OTL collections right here >!

07 September 2012

California Keeps Calling

[...this time in the form of beautiful photos from the OLD BRAND NEW blog.  See more of dabito's LA life through the lens on instagram.  I'm a fan.  And now I want to vaca to Cali more than ever.]

29 August 2012


I hope the King of Pop has found peace way up there.

23 August 2012

collection 006 / luminous + light

[I'm loving all of these bright and beautiful days we've been having in the CLE lately.  Days where partly cloudy and brightly back lit, overcast skies seem to make color just radiate from the source.   Except for in my apartment, where the lack of windows / blah wall color just ain't cuttin it.  But that's what things like Photoshop and exposure and fancy instrgram filters are for right?]

A few things I love that are lit perfectly in airy, crisp, luminous light.  Next week, I'm going to be all crazy for dark and muddled.  You know, just cause I like to switch it up like that.

21 August 2012

Something For You // iPhone Wallpapers

Claire, from one of my favorite blogs, fellowfellow, always gets me inspired to draw, create and build. Her blog is a beautiful assortment of  photographs from the most interesting locations (she lives in Singapore!!), simple and well-done DIYs and a peak into her lovely life. She's got some killer graphic design skills and shares them with her readers in the form of {Freebies!}, which are her designs on pretty, printable gift tags, iPhone wallpapers, etc. Did I mention you can get these FO FREE?  Check them out, they are rad!

I've downloaded a few of her wallpapers images and I decided I wanted to make some of my own too, as a way to share with yous guys and to thank you for coming all the way over to this here blog.  So, here you go, round 1 of some FREE stuffs for your phone :)

free iphone heart wallpapers via on the lookout blog

free iphone heart wallpapers via on the lookout blog

free iphone heart wallpapers via on the lookout blog

[iPhone Instructions] Get one of the wallpapers on your phone by:

1 / First navigating to this blog post on your phone.
2 / Then hold your finger over the image you like until a menu pops up.
3 / Press "Save Image" the image to your camera roll.
4 / Then, go to your camera roll press the little arrow in a box button in the bottom left corner.  This will give you a bunch of options, one of which is to "Use as Wallpaper."  And, boom, DONE.

*You can probably also select a image to use for a wallpaper or homescreen somewhere in your settings, if you happen to use an Andriod phone or something else.  I'm not sure, I'm an iPhone elitist, so I don't concern myself with such things too often (HA, I kid.)


20 August 2012

From the Weekend

I spent a lot of time playing with a big girl camera (read : Nikon DSLR) this weekend, in hopes that with a bit of patience, practice and a 300-page manual, I may be able to figure how to take a decent looking photograph with something other than my iPhone.

What I got was frustrated, because I basically wanted to turn the camera on and immediately channel some sort of Ansel-Adams-protege-photography-savant-geniusness.  That did not happen and so frustration set in in about 4 minutes.  Here's what I got instead:

An out-of-focus kitty, who thinks he's my shadow, a basket of cherry tomatoes from Patterson Farm and some ugly rocks I painted.  So I'm a weird-o, rock hording, cat lady who likes little fruits.  File that in your "Things I Never Cared About, But Now Know" memory bin.  Based on this image, I can only get better, right?

Yeah, ok, things started to get a little much better.  Here are some product shoots from the Fall collection that will be in the shop soon! (Barely even retouched in Photoshop! Expensive cameras are are so good.)

Happy Monday!

16 August 2012


[aka the slippery slope I like to call "excessive re-branding."  And while it may be impractical to change your logo / color scheme / fonts / blog layout every few months, this what I love most about this little business of mine, so that is how it shall be.]

Biznass cards. Oh, the possibilities:

So, it's been a lot dead over here on the blog and that's a little bad, but mostly good.  Things like recovering, relaxing and restocking after my first show have been at the top of the list and I am slowly, but surely, making my way back to this little corner of the internet I love so much.  I cannot even begin to explain how amazing the show at Art in the Petit Parc was and I want to send out a much belated THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone involved :) I really had the time of my life and have not stopped smiling since!

One of the small, nit picky, misses I had for my show (and lucky for me, I really had none) was that I didn't order enough biznass cards to go along with all of the sales.  I knew this might be a problem before hand, so tried to create some cards at Kinko's on the quick and cheap, which resulted in a lackluster performance: hand-cut, flimsy, pieces of paper, with a blurry and off-color logo and image. I'd show proof, but I tossed them shortly after, to erase all traces of my sub-par planning and design.  Just trust me, they were horrible.  You may have gotten one and not even noticed how ragged the edges were.  But I did.  Details.  Anyway, I am a mere month away from my next show -- Tremont Art Walk at Banyan Tree, Friday 09/14 -- so I wanted to get a head start on new cards.

Above are a few ideas for new business cards.  I may regret asking this, but, your thoughts, please?  If you could so kindly leave a comment, it would mean the world to me!

11 July 2012

Art in the Parc // Preview of the Goods

[Craft fair madness has fully taken over my apt, life, waking and dreaming thoughts...]

I'm so pumped to participate in Art in the Parc in just NINE days, so I thought I'd share some of the Summer/Fall 2012 collection that I've been working on in order to woo you into checking out the shop --which is on SUPER SALE-- or coming to visit me at the event!

Don't ask me why, but for some reason I was highly inspired by this native/warrior/jungle theme.  This 2nd collection is a bit edgier and more experimental in use of materials (ie. ombre thread and semi-precious, gemstones) and color (saturated blues, greens and even red!).  Still rocking lots of beads and brass, but it's kind of nice to see some evolution in what you do.  Change is good, eh?  Yep yep, I do believe it is.

I'm not sure if having just one show under my belt will be some sort of game changer for this hobby-turned-to-obsession ... that's trying to become a business.  But, it certainly feels like the wheels are finally picking up some speed!

All images taken with my iphone on Instagram (on_the_lookout)! 

06 July 2012

Sneakers + Dresses

[My ultimate, summer uni for this hothothot-assed, glorious, Ohio weather.]

via (1)(2) via onthelookout on pinterest; (3) anarchy street blog; (4)(5) Sincerely Jules.

28 June 2012

Some Damn Fine Type & Inspiring Words

[ T minus 22 days until the Art in the Petit Parc Craft Show. (Breathe, Erica, breathe...)  At this point, workin' hard is an understatement... mostly because I am trying to keep any first-timer, freak outs at bay.

Some nights, my eyes get weary, hands get a little shaky and that eerie, late-night silence gets a bit unnerving.  These words are my up-til-3am-crafting cheerleaders. Go get it girl. ]

(aka go the EFF to bed.)

So far, I am thoroughly enjoying this journey that is taking the biz to the next level :)  All images via my pinterest typography and quotes board.

21 June 2012

Photograph // Cat Love

[Just because a kitty photobombing what would be a super cute picture is totally typical.  Love it.]


From here and via Miss Moss.

18 June 2012

Big News!

[GIGANTIC things are starting to happen around here...]

It's been a while since I've been doing the regular blogger thing and I wanted to apologize and say that better posing behavior is on the way.  But, I've had good reason, as something super exciting (eeek!!) and fun is happening, this July 20th...

You see, on the lookout was invited to participate in it's FIRST CRAFT SHOW EVER!  I got the news last week and have been so insanely excited, I almost haven't known what to do.  Literally, my mind is spinning on where. to. start...  I foresee tons of work and some stressful moments on the horizon.  BUT, such is life eh?  Craft ON!  And if you are of the local Cleveland variety, why not pencil in Art in the Petit Parc Craft Chow on your list of to do's for next month? :)

The show will be thrown by Chatreuse, a graphic design company run by three, pretty ladies on the West Side of Cleveland.  It will feature local artists, many of whose work I have seen and purchased before.  I am SO fortunate to get to share some craft fair space with these creative folk!  The city of Cleveland gets a lot of crap from those on the outside, but it really is one of those places where the community is super tight-knit and supportive.  The perfect sort of city to throw caution to the wind in and start your own jewelry business in...

My first step to tackle this crafty event is to list out everything that must be done by the end of this week.  I've divvied up this project into 5 parts: Planning, Product, Marketing, Display and Set up.  That way I can have an actual plan of attack for each very different stage of the process.  Planning begun last week and consisted of sourcing all needed supplies - beads, findings, chain, leather cord, ribbon, brass, gemstones. Mega beading loot.  While that stuff is on it's way to my mailbox, I'll be using the transit time to create product.  After that, getting the word out will be the most important.  Once there's a little buzz, I figure I can retreat a little to create a custom display for said jewelry.  So, you see, there is a little bit of method emerging!  And as always, any tips would be much much appreciated!

OK, onward.  A messy studio needs to be cleaned and manyMANY lists need to be made...

(Just a quick shout out: Much thanks to fellow Cleveland crafter and blogger, Alicia, for passing along the info for the show!  She'll be selling hand made accessories at the even as well!)

13 June 2012

Wear // Mara Hoffman Resort 2012

[Giving me the major WANTS.  And hell YES to bright, purple lipstick!]

See it all and more here.